For decades, Japanese companies have poured money into the United States to open manufacturing facilities, automobile factories, advanced chemical plants, and numerous other long-term investments. In 2015, more than $36 billion in fresh investments in the US were made by Japanese firms, adding to the more than $370 billion in investments already present as of 2014. The fresh investments in 2015 amounted to more than 17 times the amount coming from China and 60 times the amount from South Korea. The US continues to be the number one destination for outbound Japanese investment, and Japan was also the single largest investor in the US among G20 countries in 2015.
According to analysis done by the Economic Section of the Japanese Embassy in Washington, annual Japanese investment into the US is now 5.5 times greater than it was in 2009 during the global financial crisis. By comparison, investment from all global economies has only grown 2.6 times in that same period.
States and communities across the US are some of the biggest winners, as Japanese investment has created hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs, with the latest figures from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis showing nearly 800,000 jobs at Japanese majority-owned firms spread across the country as of 2013. For example, more than 1,000 people are employed by Kawasaki in Lincoln, Nebraska, where new subway cars are being manufactured for Washington, DC’s Metro system. Subaru of America’s plant in Indiana has a mission of producing zero waste from the manufacturing process and the company employs over 3,800 people there. Toyota is constructing its new North America headquarters in Plano, Texas, where it will employ roughly 4,000 people from the local community. Chemical company Toray has a large investment in South Carolina where its products are integral to new Boeing aircraft. Divisions of Honda can be found across the country, from manufacturing jets in North Carolina to producing cars in Ohio and Alabama. Japan is the largest source of foreign investment in Ohio, with a presence in 61 of the state’s 88 counties.